Kosiya Awarded 100th Water Tank
Less than four years ago Kosiya Kigwezegyezi was an elderly man struggling with subsistence farming on an unproductive piece of land in Uganda to support seven children, three of whose mother had died. Today he has a thriving three-acre smallholding and – most importantly – has just been given a 5,000-litre concrete water tank to secure his extended family’s farming future.
This is the 100th water tank to be funded by an Italian church, La Chiesa Valdese.
The congregation heard about the Uganda project through a charity trustee and decided to donate money for the tanks. To celebrate the occasion Guilia Agostini from the Italian embassy in Kampala made the 250 km journey to the remote Kasagama sub county in Lyantonde district, south west of Kampala for the official opening.
The charity responsible for this and other projects is Trust for Africa’s Orphans (TAO). TAO works in partnership with Uganda Women’s Effort to Save Orphans (UWESO).
TAO has provided local agricultural extension workers to raise the standard of sustainable farming in local communities throughout Uganda. This UK charity was set up by an expatriate Ugandan, Joy Mugisha and it understands the basic African spirit of community and family land ownership. All its projects are designed to enable orphans and those who care for them to stay in their communities.
For Mr Kigwezegyezi the turning point was meeting his extension worker, Geoffrey Kayondo. With his advice, coupled with hard work and the knowledge gained from attending all the sustainable farming courses offered by the field training staff, at the age of 70 he now has a thriving plantation of bananas, vegetables, and healthy goats for meat and milk and organic fertilizer.
These supply not only food for the family but income. Further hard work led to him moving out of his grass-thatched mud and wattle hut into a solid brick house. The corrugated iron roof will channel rainwater into the water tank.
The name of the cluster of beneficiaries to which Mr Kigwezegyezi belongs is Bwavu Mpologoma. “Bwavu means poverty,” he says, “while Mpologoma means a lion. It is an expression of how terrible poverty is, it is a deadly lion that could swallow one up, therefore the need to fight it with all one’s might.”